Jace’s point of view of his first kiss with Clary
I kissed your lips and broke your heart
The Institute’s bell begins to toll, the deep loud heartbeat of the apex of the night.
Jace sets his knife down. It’s a neat little pocketknife, bone
-handled, that Alec gave him when they became
. He’s used it constantly and the grip is worn smooth from the pressure of his fingers.
“Midnight,” he says. He can feel Clary beside him,
sitting back amongst the remains of their picnic, her breathing soft in the cool, leaf-
smelling air of the greenhouse. He doesn’t look at her, but straight ahead,
at the shining closed buds of the
plant. He isn’t sure why he doesn’t want to look a
t her. Heremembers the first time he saw the flower bloom, during horticulture class, sitting on a stone bench with
Alec and Izzy on either side of him, and Hodge’s fingers on the stem of the blossom —
he had woken themup at nearly midnight to show them the marvel, a plant that normally grew only in Idris
andremembered his breath catching in the wintery midnight air, at the sight of something so surprising andso beautiful. Alec and Isabelle at been interested but not, he remembers, caught by the beauty of it as he had been. He was worried even now, as the bells rang on, that Clary would be the same: interested or even pleased, butnot enchanted. He wanted her to feel the way he had about the
, though he could not have said why. A sound escapes h
er lips, a soft “Oh!” The flower is blooming: opening like the birth of a star, all
shimmering pollen and white-
gold petals. “Do they bloom every night?”
A wave of relief goes through him. Her green eyes are shining, fixed on it. She is flexing her fingersunconsciously, the way he has come to understand she does when she is wishing she had a pen or pencilsto capture the image of something in front of her. Sometimes he wishes he could see as she did: see the world as a canvas to be captured in paint, chalks and watercolors. Sometimes when she looks at him that
way he finds himself almost blushing; a feeling so strange he almost doesn’t recognize it. Jace Waylanddoesn’t blush.
“Happy birthday, Clarissa Fray,” he says, and her mouth curves into a smile. “I have something for you.”He fumbles, a little, reaching into his pocket, though he doesn’t think she notices. When he presses the
witchlight runestone into her hand, he is conscious of how small her fingers are under his
delicate butstrong, callused from hours of holding pencils and paintbrushes. The calluses tickle his fingertips. He wonders if contact with his skin speeds her pulse the way his does when he touches hers. Apparently not, because she draws away from him, her expression showing only curiosi
ty. “You know, when most girls say they want a big rock, they don’t mean, you know, literally a big rock.”
He smiles without meaning to. Which is unusual in and of itself; usually only Alec or Isabelle can startlelaughter out of him. He had known Clary wa
s brave the first time he’d met her —
walking into that room
after Isabelle, unarmed and unprepared, took the kind of guts he didn’t associate with mundanes —
the fact that she made him laugh still surprised him. “Very amusing, my sarcastic friend. It’
s not a rock,precisely. All Shadowhunters have a witchlight rune-stone. It will bring you light even among the darkest
shadows of this world and others.” They were the same words his father had spoken to him, upon giving
him his first runestone.
What other worlds?
Jace had asked, and his father had only laughed.
There aremore worlds a breath away from this one than there are grains of sand on a beach.
She smiles at him and makes a joke about birthday presents, but he senses that she is touched; she slipsthe stone into her pocket carefully. The
flower is already shedding petals like a shower of stars,
lighting her face with a soft illumination. “When I was twelve, I wanted a tattoo,” she says. A strand of red
hair falls across her eyes; Jace fights the urge to reach out and push it back.
“Most Shadowhunters get their first Marks at twelve. It must have been in your blood.”